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The Do Gooders Podcast

Nov 25, 2019

We’ve long extolled the virtue of gratitude. Some have even called it the “social glue” that fortifies relationships and serves as the backbone of human society.

But what is gratitude? Where does it come from? And how can we foster it? 

Dr. Robert Emmons is perhaps the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UC Davis, the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, and director of the Emmons Lab, a long-term research project designed to create and disseminate a large body of scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well-being.

His research has been featured in dozens of outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.

He’s also written five books on the subject, including the most recent: “Gratitude Works! A Twenty-One Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity.”

As he shares on today’s show, there’s no downside to being grateful. Yet it goes beyond a feeling. As he says, rather than feeling gratitude based on our circumstances, we must take it on as an orientation, a lens to life.

We can use gratitude as a way of framing our experiences and thus enjoy an upward spiral of goodness. 

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